2012 was an explosive time for republican and democratic presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama respectively. We are barely out of 2012 and names are already floating around for the 2016 presidential election. Rumored favorites are Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul. Although the elections are almost four years away, Rand Paul is gaining headway just like his father did in his bid. Rand Paul is a self proclaimed libertarian predicted to lead the GOP to victory in 2016.
So, Who is Rand Paul?
Dr. Rand Paul was originally brought up in Russellville Kentucky, but moved to Bowling Green where he started his ophthalmology practice and settled with his wife of 21 years, Kelly and their three sons.
Paul attended Baylor University and went on to Duke Medical School where he graduated in 1988. He then went on to Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta to complete his internship in general surgery, before going on to Duke University Medical Center to complete his residency.
Dr. Paul practiced medicine for over 17 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate. From that moment he began to perform surgeries on a charitable basis.
Dr. Paul is best known for his academic achievements and strides in the world of ophthalmology. He’s been a member of the Lions Club International for 19 years where he dedicated his time to providing glasses and eye surgery to those who cannot otherwise afford it. He is also recognized for providing free eye surgery to poor children and seniors in different countries.
At this point, you may be wondering why a well-established doctor would be interested in running for president, and here’s the answer–he is as interested in the future of this country as his father and is determined to make a difference, not just in the lives of his patients, but also in the life of every American.
What Can We Expect from Rand Paul?
Paul quickly gained popularity after being elected to senate for his opinions; outwardly opposing the detention of U.S. citizens without trial, his opinions on same-sex marriage and his stance on budget control.
Three of his key views are on budget, gay marriage and gun rights, which are as follows:
1. Budget Deficits/Tax Cuts: Paul wants to make cuts in federal spending in order to stop the deficit from increasing.
2. Gay marriage: Paul is against gay marriage. He does however support the freedom of same-sex couples to get married in churches or other religious institutions, so long as those institutions agree, without the interference of the federal government.
3. Gun Rights: Paul has been upfront and honest about his gun ownership and he openly defends the right to bare arms. He is against the federal government making any restrictions to gun owners. (However, with the latest rash of school shootings, some are wondering if he will change his mind).
Rand Paul is a libertarian, which some think may work against him since polls suggest that most Americans don’t even know what a libertarian is, and only 10 percent of registered voters identify themselves as libertarians. (2) In an interview published on the NRP website, the term libertarian was defined as one takes a liberal view on issues, one who is highly critical of the government and not supportive of the social safety net. However, Paul isn’t one to be limited by a definition or defeated by one.
Will his Father Get Involved?
Political analysts are predicting that Rand Paul’s father will help him in the GOP primary, both directly and indirectly. There’s no doubt that Paul will fully utilize his father’s political connections; although he’ll be smart enough to not directly mimic his father’s campaign. Judging by what he’s doing so far, the prediction is that Paul is out to attract “mainstream” Republicans over old-school thinkers (who his father was targeting). In many ways, Rand Paul is trying to shed the similarities between he and his father, especially when it comes to foreign policies.
During his father’s candidacy, he outwardly opposed the continuance of U.S. military aid to Israel. This stirred up a controversy that inflamed the Israeli state. Rand Paul has continued his father’s views–with a twist. He also wants aid to end from the U.S. to Israel, but he emphatically stated that his opinion is not driven by antipathy. He furthered this point by explaining how he just wants the aid to end period, to every country, and that Israel would be last on the list. Although he and his father share a lot of the same views, he plans to tackle these views in a different way, leaving some to feel that he is in danger of ‘alienating” his father. In an interview conducted by Politico, Paul senior was asked if his son could carry his torch, he stated, “Time will tell. Nobody has a torch that they give to somebody else. I don’t have a torch. Everybody has to own their own way. He’ll do well.”